WASHINGTON (CNS) — While confusion has arisen in recent days over “the moral permissibility” of using the COVID-19 vaccines just announced by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna, it is not “immoral to be vaccinated with them,” said Bishop Kevin J. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
The bishops addressed the issue in a Nov. 23 memo to their brother bishops. A copy of the memo was obtained by Catholic News Service Nov. 24.
“Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development or production,” the two prelates said. They noted there is a “relatively remote” connection in that “both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products.” But it is “an inaccurate portrayal of Catholic moral teaching,” they said, to declare that this remote connection makes it “immoral to be vaccinated with them.”